The Chinese Grand Prix will not take place in 2023 due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, but Formula 1 is looking to replace the event to keep the calendar at 24 rounds.
China was the first race called off when the COVID pandemic hit in 2020, and has yet to return to the schedule despite being included over the past two seasons. With unrest in the country regarding ongoing restrictions, F1 has held discussions with the organizers to try and find a solution but has now confirmed the race will not take place next year as the sport cannot operate as it does at other events.
Removing the Shanghai International Circuit from the calendar leaves a slot available on April 16. While there had initially been speculation that the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30 could move from its position as the first part of back-to-back weekends with Miami, it is understood F1 is speaking to multiple locations about replacing China instead.
RACER understands Portimao is the front-runner, at this stage having held two races during the pandemic-hit years of 2020 and 2021, but F1 is in discussions with a number of other potential host venues as it assesses the viability of each option. The Portuguese circuit would need to find an alternative solution for the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Portimao that is currently due to be held on the same April 16 weekend.
This year, the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix prompted F1 to explore alternatives but ultimately series management decided against a replacement for that September event and reduced the calendar to 22 races.